One of my frequently asked questions comes from new porn performers (or those who think they want to be one): “How can I get in Porn?”

About a year ago I wrote “Getting into Queer Porn” where I listed some San Francisco porn companies to work with. But before you make the move, here are some considerations.

Getting into Porn Tips:

1. Be yourself.

Sexy is being yourself. (Easier said than done!) You have your own style and your own unique sexuality. You don’t have to change a thing, and you can apply to work in queer porn without having to shave your armpits or wear a thong — unless you want to! It’s okay to try new things, but make sure you feel comfortable in the skin you’re in. Will you use your own name, or a stage name (which offers some protection of your personal life). Stage names can reflect your gender and your sexual attitude. Pick something original and, coming from personal experience, stick to it. Say it aloud. Also, last names are helpful especially if you are using a common first name. Having a unique name will help people find you online – both fans and directors.

2. Practice.

Test the Waters. This might be the funnest part. Borrow a video camera from a friend and film a scene – solo, or otherwise. Watch yourself on screen and notice how it feels to have a camera present; this can tell you a lot about what it might be like with more lights and a camera crew in the room. As a friend to take sexy photos of you. What is it like to have someone else in the room while you’re turned on? It can also shed light on what you’re comfortable doing on screen, and what you’re not. Some people prefer to only top or only bottom on camera, though they may have a different preference in their personal life. Things can change when there’s an audience.

Bonus: If you’re comfortable, post it online and see what it feels like to have feedback. You can upload a video to tube sites (check out QTube.com if you’d prefer a queer site over a mainstream one) or make some money with your first time clip through something like Clips4Sale.com or by selling your video to a queer pornographer as content. Question what it feels like to add money to the equation as well as what it might feel like if a parent or sibling saw the clip.

3. Watch Queer Porn.

If you haven’t already, check out the trailers and even become a member of queer porn websites you think you might like to be a part of. Identify your favorite companies, think of how you’d contribute to their work.

Note: Don’t let yourself be fooled by the appearances of other models. If you don’t see someone who looks like you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wont be hired. Sometimes it takes a brave individual to make the first move and represent a new demographic.

4. Get online.

Websites and twitter accounts are the new business card. Having a place online for directors and future co-stars to see you — more than just an email address — can make all the difference. Start off with having your pictures hosted on sites like OneModelPlace or ModelMayhem, or start a simple website using a blogging platform such as WordPress. Pay attention to Terms of Services for social networking profiles and be careful posting images that may get you deleted. Either way, having an easy way to contact you will increase your opportunities. Make friends and engage with your favorite stars and companies so they know who you are.

5. Apply.

Go to your favorite porn companies’ websites and scan their site for a contact or “models” link. (Sometimes you’ll find these at the bottom of the site, or in the “about us” if you don’t see it right away.) If you find a form, fill it out as best and complete as you can; make sure to list activities you really would love to do. If you have an idea of a co-star you’d like to work with, suggest their name(s). Upload a photo that includes your whole face as well as a body shot — which doesn’t necessarily have to be nude for queer porn as companies really just want to see your style. If there’s not a form but their’s a contact email address, send a simple note (not a novel) about wanting to apply and ask where you can send your info.

Be friendly and patient. Queer Porn companies often have very small offices and infrequent projects; they may not be able to book you right away. I’ve known models who have waited 3 years for the right opportunity to do a shoot. And boy did they come out in flying colors! Trying to bust your way through the door is not going to help get you on screen any faster. If you seem pushy or obnoxious it may even hurt your chances. Just try other opportunities and stay connected to the companies in case you hear of openings or announcements of new projects.

Bonus: If the company has a premier or event, go to it and introduce yourself to make connections.

I hope this advice helps. I don’t mind getting these questions from people and think everyone should give porn a shot. By writing this blog post I hope I covered your questions all at once.

Feel free to leave comments if you have any other questions — or tips — so that they’ll be a place for others to read and share ideas.